Saturday, November 11, 2006

Red Sox the Latest

So Buster Olney of ESPN is reporting that the Red Sox may have bid between $38 and $45 million for Matsuzaka. If that's true, I guarantee they won the bidding. It's also perhaps the single most reckless and irresponsible expenditure in the history of professional sports, going way beyond the Alex Rodriguez' Texas contract.

If true, it means that Theo Epstein just spent about $40 million to talk to Matsuzaka, and Boras will be looking for Oswalt money at 5 years/$75 million. If Boras sticks to his guns, and all this is accurate, the Sox will be paying out an average seasonal output of $23 million for Matsuzaka's services. Even as good as I think he is, that's idiotic.

The Red Sox will get an ace caliber pitcher, in all likelihood, and an inroad to Japan. That's all nice. They will also see their payroll explode, and there are still a lot of gaps to fill. The Sox will likely join the Yankees near the $200 million budget plateau. Can they afford that? Should they spend that much on one guy? I certainly wouldn't. There is the possibility that this is either wrong, or a ploy to block Matsuzaka from the Yankees. Time will tell. I'm a Yankees fan, as everyone who visits here knows, and it will be painful to see Matsuzaka in Boston, but I promise that I'll write this blog with nothing but fair and dedicated analysis of Daisuke whatever the uniform. If it's true, I congratulate the Sox on tremendous gamesmanship, despite the crazy money. You are the new Steinbrenners of baseball.

UPDATE: I've read on a few Red Sox bulletin boards some disparaging remarks about me, and my jealousy. For the record, I wrote in my post "Matsuzaka Redux" the following:

"When you add it all up, you're looking at an average out of pocket expenditure of between $14 million and $22 million. The low end is acceptable. The mid-range is only acceptable if you are fairly certain that he's a legit #1. The top end is stupid by all accounts."

So, you can call it jealousy, anti-Red Sox sentiment, or whatever else you'd like, but I would have made these remarks for any team including the Yankees, if they'd spent more than $20 million on a pitcher with no MLB experience. I'm sorry if you don't like the big spending label, and all the things that go with it, but spending $23 million or more a season on a pitcher, regardless of new market opportunities is a bit out of control. You'd be saying the same thing if the Yankees were the big spenders again......


At 11:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

well if you would make those remarks for anyone, how about these guys. especially 19 million for mussina who i believe matsuzaka will be better than, with the expection of the talent and revenue brought in by derek jeter, i dont believe any of those players to be worth their money.

Player Salary
Alex Rodriguez 25,680,727
Derek Jeter 20,600,000
Jason Giambi 20,428,571
Mike Mussina 19,000,000
Randy Johnson 15,661,427
Johnny Damon 13,000,000
Hideki Matsui 13,000,000
Jorge Posada 12,000,000
Gary Sheffield 10,756,171
Mariano Rivera 10,500,000
dl-Carl Pavano 8,000,000
Jaret Wright 7,666,667
Kyle Farnswort 5,416,667
Shawn Chacon 3,600,000
Ron Villone 2,250,000
dl-Octavio Dotel 2,000,000
Tanyon Sturtze 1,500,000
Bernie Williams 1,500,000
dl-Aaron Small 1,200,000
Mike Myers 1,150,000
Miguel Cairo 1,000,0

At 12:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


You are seemingly missing the whole picture of a 38 to 45 million dollar bid by the Red Sox, if the reports are indeed true. If you look at the posting fee as strictly an investment in the growing Asian baseball market, a place where the Red Sox are clearly behind the Yankees and others, I think it is a very smart move, and one that will surely pay off well in time. To lable it "reckless and irresponsible" is a clear indication that you do not get the business end of baseball. You can speculate Matsuzaka's contract and lump his posting fee with it if you'd like, and I'd guess you'd have to if you are a team like the Yankees who already have a strong Asian base (think that's why the Mariner's didn't bid?!), and come up with annual numbers like 23 million, but for a team trying to establish themselves in the Asian market you need to keep those figures seperate.

Boras may be looking for Oswalt money but the Red Sox hold the leverage in this instance and I'd imagine that the contract signed will come in to closer to the 10 to 12 million dollar range. Also, the posting fee paid to any Japanese team does not count againt payroll, which I don't think you understood in claiming the Red Sox payroll would be near the $200 plateau next season.

The facts that the Red Sox are not only potentially adding what seemingly all experts agree would be no worse than a number 3 starter who is just entering is prime, and are blocking the Yankees from doing the same, are actually bonus secondary issues in the Red Sox' long term financial and roster plans in making such a large bid for Matsuzaka.

At 12:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a Red Sox fanatic. Not a fan, a fanatic. I agree that this seems a high price to pay. It is a gamble. The reward could be huge. There is no limit to the up-side. I personally think it was more of a defensive move than offensive. You have prevented the Yankees from all the attention and fan fare. I currently put the signing odds at 2 to 1 against.
I have been checking your blog multiple times a day and want to say regardless of your misguided loyalty to the dark side, I apreciate your efforts. Keep up the good work.

At 4:13 AM, Blogger TC said...

I agree the money is a bit outrageous, but there's more to this deal than just an attempt to sign a pitcher. If the Sox sign Matsuzaka, the Japanese market opens up for them in terms of product sales and future player development. It's not unrealistic to believe that the Red Sox could earn back most of $40 million bid over the next decade through merchandise sales in Japan.

At 4:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldn't take the criticism too hard. You've been consistent in your opinions and besides, they're Red Sox fans.

At 8:20 AM, Blogger Gregg said...

You just think a $40 million bid for a pitcher is "idiotic" because you're mad the Sox got the guy you wanted on your Yankee team. You Yankee fans are all the same.


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